Nitin Shah is CEO of Feeva, a provider of targeting data for online ad campaigns.
AdExchanger.com: Where did the idea come from for Feeva? -and, where'd the name come from?
NS: Feeva is a play on the word fever. The idea is to spice up Internet networks with a new ingredient that heats them to a fever pitch. Feeva is also reminiscent of the song name Fever made popular by Little Willie John in the 1950s. Feeva’s technology adds intelligence to any type of IP based network (broadband, mobile and IPTV). So for the online advertising industry this means Feeva can supply accurate and privacy-safe geo-location and demographics in a way that has never been possible.
What problem is Feeva solving?
It seems Feeva has been under-the-radar until now. Why?
Feeva has concentrated on the foundation areas of our business that will later drive scale and revenue as a trusted data provider. For instance, we have been working with Juniper networks for almost a year to develop the software to support their ISP customers. We have also spent many months working with Richard Purcell, who is one of our privacy advisors, and the privacy groups and consumer advocacy groups in Washington to ensure that Feeva is building a privacy and consumer friendly platform. Feeva has also spend a lot of time with advertisers from big box retailers to hyper-local businesses to better understand the need for things like radius targeting, geo-location and demographics. We do not intend to fly under the radar for long!
What is the Feeva dataset? And, how do you differentiate among other data providers?
Feeva’s dataset is derived from accurate location at the neighborhood level. The concept of “birds of a feather flock together” has been the backbone of brand marketing for decades in order to reach particular communities with similar socio-demographic attributes. With accurate location at the neighborhood level Feeva can rely on census and other offline data that has been widely used and accepted for decades. Feeva’s data is highly accurate geo-location and demographics at the neighborhood level. The current data ecosystem is heavily reliant on cookies to track individual user behavior, searches and clickstreams. Behavioral data is valuable as an indicator of intent for some marketers, but does not scale well and is increasingly questionable from a privacy perspective.
Generally speaking, is accurate "Zip +4" targeting possible today? How close are we?
No, accurate zip+4 targeting is not widely available today. There are currently two ways to geo-target online today 1) use the IP Address to reverse map or 2) ask the user through registration or geo-specific services like Weather.com or Autotrader.com. The IP address is most commonly used to geo-target, but is only accurate to the Metro/DMA level and increasingly questionable from a privacy perspective. Large companies like Yahoo, Google and Microsoft have massive registration databases and can sometimes target to the Zip+4, but only a small subset of users are signed in at any given time and large marketers and agencies question the accuracy of registration data bases. Feeva solves this problem and allow businesses to reach users in their neighborhood much like a local newspaper.
Who is the target client for Feeva data?
Everyone! Because Feeva provides accurate geo-location and demographics we can help everyone from local mom and pop pizza joints to large corporations like Bank of America, Target and Lowes. We are currently working with several data providers, networks, exchanges and publishers and intend to sell our data across the ecosystem.
How does Feeva address concerns around consumer privacy for data-driven marketing today?
Feeva aggregates and anonymizes users at a neighborhood level and offers a persistent opt out via the service provider. We do not target or track individual users or ever see their online behaviors, searches or clickstream. Think of Feeva much like you would think of a local newspaper or bus stop advertising in your neighborhood. At the Right Media Open last week Randall Rothenberg addresses concerns that this industry is too focused on direct response advertisers and not providing the tools for large brand marketers to spend money online. While there is tremendous value for some advertisers to target individual behaviors or intent, Feeva is focused on providing the fundamental data that the online advertising industry has been lacking since the beginning, accurate geo- and demo-graphic data.
The valuation of data remains a challenge. How do you propose marketers value your data?
Yes, we are still in the early evolution of data online. As the industry gets better at understanding data and how to more effectively apply it to audiences we will likely see a rise in data value. In many cases the data value now exceeds the impression value. Most of the current data available is behavioral and stuffed into a cookie. As Feeva scales our data will be more widely applicable because we focus on core demographics and geo-location. Safe, simple, transparent and most importantly, what all marketers heavily rely on in the offline world to buy scalable audiences on TV, Radio, Print and Outdoor.
The marketplace is very focused on Mobile right now. Does Feeva have a mobile strategy?
Absolutely, Feeva is very focused on Mobile advertising as our technology is IP based and can supply the mobile advertising ecosystem with the same demographic accuracy at the neighborhood level as land based networks. of course Feeva does not need to provide geo-location because of GPS enabled phones, but we can help marketers understand the generic demographics of the person carrying the phone.
A year from now, what milestones would you like the company to have accomplished?
A year from now I would like to see the entire ecosystem using Feeva’s accurate and privacy-safe geographic and demographic data. Our customers will expand to include everyone in the ecosystem, inducing RTB platforms, DSPs, search engines, ad verification, audience metrics, content delivery and much more. With highly accurate geo-location Feeva enables the multi-billion dollar local advertising industry to more accurately and effectively reach consumers in their neighborhoods.
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